Over the years the fashion world has evolved in terms of maternity style. With more high profile celebrities like Gwen Stefani – my favourite fashion follow – to the Kardashian crew – embracing their changing bodies, other designers have got on board making clothes that cater for the inevitable new body shapes that come as part of pregnancy.

pregnant Kim Kardashian - Copy

 

Being pregnant for the fourth time I have finally learnt that you don’t have to spend lots of money on maternity clothes.

I have a box marked ‘maternity’ clothes that I bought during my second and third pregnancies, but this time I only wore two tops and one pair of maternity jeans (all from ASOS maternity range) out of the entire box.

I found I could conceal my expanding tummy much easier this pregnancy partly because I was more used to how my body shape would change and also fashion was on my side! By employing a few simple tricks – stretchy jersey skirts and a cami top in a size bigger tucked in (at the beginning) and worn over the skirt (nearer the final months) layered under a fitted jacket – practically disguised the bump plus it was very comfy.

 As a mum of three it was essential to be able to use a few staples from my existing wardrobe while incorporating a few larger items over time – as affordability was key. I also had to look presentable for my job  – especially as meeting people is a big part of what I do.

My one absolute essential pregnancy item which literally grew with me throughout my whole pregnancy was a mid-length, scoop neck, black Topshop dress with three quarter length sleeves. The fitted jersey material was very forgiving and stretched well, I only needed to go one size up.

Jersey dress

It was perfect for all occasions – for a casual look I wore it with an oversized cardigan, flats and minimal jewellery. For a more formal occasion I paired it with a long coat and scarf or a fitted jacket and heels/Chelsea ankle boots.

Other pregnancy staples included:

Long lightweight scarves – I had accumulated quite a selection of them over the years luckily. They are perfect for wearing with a bump, with an open coat or cardigan. They are great afterwards too especially if breastfeeding out and about.

Oversized cardigans I already owned a number of these and I only bought  one other new cardigan from Primark. It was well worth the £9 as I used it throughout my pregnancy and I can use it long afterwards. I found my normal size was fine and coupled with a long scarf in the last few months was ideal.

Maternity tights are pricey but well worth the investment. Worn under dresses or skirts they can be used time and again and are useful for the first few months after birth too.

A pair of under the bump leather look leggings from ASOS and a stretchy over the bump pair of leggings from New Look – were firm staples from 7 months onwards – they stretched as much as I did!

Luckily I was still able to squeeze into most of my ordinary clothes or one size up until 30 weeks before breaking out the maternity clothes and crazily I was able to wear one (magic) pair of jeans just one size bigger than my usual size right up until I was 38 weeks without using a button extender – admittedly the jeans were stretchy ones from Primark!

Here are some outfits I wore throughout my pregnancy:

19 weeks preggers 2
At 19 weeks pregnant my baby bump was definitely beginning to show. Wearing a tucked in cami top and a long fitted pencil skirt I was able to nearly completely conceal it.

21 weeks pregnant I went to a One Direction concert with my eldest daughter while 21 weeks pregnant and wore a vest top from Primark with an added layer on the bottom – the added length proved great for covering my bump.

27 weeks pregnant 2 By 27 weeks my bump was growing rapidly and sometimes if I felt confident enough I wore a fitted jersey material dress, this one didn’t have as good a stretch in it so I only wore it a few times.

28 weeks pregnant

This is the jersey dress I mentioned above. I often wore it to work as it looked dressy and was so comfortable, my fitted jacket help show off my growing bump.

28 weeks pregnant 3

I bought a shirt dress in a size bigger so I could get more wear out of it. Worn under a long, chunky oversized cardigan it was another very comfy outfit, suitable for work. As my bump grew and the shirt shrank (on me) I wore it with leggings.

29 weeks pregnant

Going for a more laid back look at home look during the holidays I wore fitted long sleeve tops and scarves with jeans.

30 weeks pregnant This was another stretchy material dress from Matalan that I wore on our work Christmas night out, it was perfect as it was a little more glam than my plain black dress. I wore it to a Christmas show and on Christmas day too.

FullSizeRender

At 32 weeks pregnant I was no longer able to tuck in my cami top – but at that stage it worked well hanging over my jeans (the ones I mentioned earlier!) I wore it with an oversized cardigan and minimal jewellery for a casual look.

40 weeeks pregnant At the very end maternity leggings from New Look, a maternity top from ASOS and my oversized Primark cardigan were the only clothes that I found comfortable enough to wear. I packed these items for when I was coming home from hospital too.

This time around I have had a much more relaxed attitude towards packing my bag for hospital, only getting around to packing it five days before my due date! It’s recommended to have it packed by 36 weeks ~ whoops!

As I will have a toddler and newborn baby in tow a change bag that is large enough to accommodate the increasing amount of stuff is an absolute essential.

After a lot of searching online I decided to go with a Pink Lining Change Bag. This is the one I chose as red is my favourite colour. I love the pretty bow detail and the fact that it looks like an oversized tote handbag with the option of being a shoulder bag (to hang on the pram). It can also be carried like a handbag with two straps which is perfect!

Change Bag

This change bag was bigger than all the other bags that I had looked at, but twice as luxurious with wipe clean surfaces both inside and outside. As well as handy compartments inside for my iPhone, car keys, pens, notebook and my purse. Not only does it look pretty, but it is practical too, a double bonus.

I was able to buy this exact bag from a local shop, The Pram Centre and I got £5 off the marked price as well, bargain!

As soon as I got home I couldn’t wait to get the tags off and the bag packed with my pre-washed newborn baby clothes; vests, sleepsuits, baby mitts, socks,a baby towel, nappies, cotton wool, water wipes and a going home outfit.  It all fit in too which is amazing as I am a chronic over-packer ~ you just never know when you will need something and if you don’t bring it you are sure to need it.

Next I had to get bags packed for my other three kids. My eldest daughter packed her own – as she is a teenager – but I gave it a quick once over, but her packing was faultless and she had something for every eventuality (she takes her packing affliction from me!)

My six year old Eve has gotten very fashion concious and was keen to see what outfits I chose for her, so she could give them her seal of approval. She is a massive shoeaholic so I had to ensure there was a different pair of shoes to match each outfit.

I packed three outfits in all, one casual, one more dressy – they might go out to dinner or something – and a new one that they had each got for meeting their new sibling in – for the photos.

I had to be extra organised with my 19 month old – with extra outfits incase of any accidents or leaks, his inhalers were important incase his breathing got bad and a list of non-dairy food items that were safe for him to eat as he is being treated for Cows Milk Protein Allergy – CMPA.

 

                                                       MY HOSPITAL BAG MUST HAVES….

The items that I absolutely could not leave the house without are:

  • Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray

Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray

 

This is a pain relieving spray that I saw on a vlog two years ago when I was pregnant with Luca. An American vlogger showed it on her YouTube channel as an essential item for her hospital bag. She explained that it was used post-partum for the perineum area – which becomes swollen and sore after birth. With my first two children I found going to the toilet after birth was a real problem so last time around I ensured I had purchased the Dermoplast pain relieving spray  and I can confirm that it really worked wonders for me. I could go to the toilet without any pain at all. I knew I had to have this again and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that I could get it from Amazon UK and not have the worry of waiting for it to arrive from the US like I did last time when pregnant with Luca.

  • Hypnobirthing CD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Hypnobirthing CD   During my last pregnancy I  attended Hypnobirthing classes using the Marie Mongan Method. I found the classes extremely beneficial and wanted to draw upon the techniques I had learnt and use them this time again too.                                                                                                        Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the Hypnobirthing classes during this pregnancy so reading and listening to the  Marie Mongan Hypnobirthing book and cd in my own time have been essential. During my last birth the CD was my saving grace, giving me something to focus on ~ the music and birth affirmations  which I had listened to countless times in the weeks before the birth  were key to keeping my breathing and mind calm throughout. The CD is without a doubt my main must have item. If I left the house without it I would have to turn and go back, it is so vitally important to me.
  • Disposable Underwear                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Disposable maternity briefs   Admittedly not the most attractive type of underwear, however these disposable maternity briefs are ideal for the first day or two after birth for convenience, no mess and are fuss free ~ you can just throw them away.
  • Maternity Towels                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Need I say more, these are a definite non negotiable must have item for after birth. I found these Mothercare maternity towels very comfortable and completely leak proof.                                                                                                                                     maternity towels

Armed with these essentials I’m  ready for action!